The 7 Best Grain Mills of 2020: Electric & Manual
A grain mill can either be an electric appliance or a manual machine that is used to process cereals or grains into flour. They do this by utilizing metal or stone grinding plates to crush and grind the grains into a fine or coarse powder.
That said, there are quite a variety of grain mills that you can get in the market. To help you pick the most suitable one, we have compiled a list of the best grain mills that you can buy online. Read through to find out!
7 Best Grain Mills – Review
1. Blendtec 52-601-BHM (Best Electric)
2. Giraffe-X GorillaRock (Best Budget)
3. NutriMill Plus (Best Large-Capacity)
4. Wondermill 2-0911 (Best Heavy-Duty)
5. Roots & Branches VKP1024 (Best Manual)
6. Chard GM-150 (Durable)
7. Weston 36-3601-W (Ergonomic)
1. Blendtec 52-601-BHM
2. Giraffe-X GorillaRock
3. NutriMill Plus
4. Wondermill 2-0911
5. Roots & Branches VKP1024
6. Chard GM-150
7. Weston 36-3601-W
Best Electric Grain Mills
1. Best Electric Grain Mill: Blendtec 52-601-BHM
- Type: Electric
- Grinding Plate: Stainless-Steel Micronetic Chamber
- Hopper Capacity: 3 cups
- Case Material: Polycarbonate
Top of the list is Blendtec’s 52-601-BHM and this is the best option if you are looking for an electric model due to several reasons. For starters, it has a powerful 1560-watt commercial-grade motor that provides enough torque to crush hard grains with ease.
This motor is mated to a surgical stainless-steel micronetic milling chamber, which crushes grains at low temperatures to reduce starch damage. It also produces a high yield output that is full of healthy nutrients.
Regardless of the grain type that you feed in the hopper, this chamber is guaranteed to never jam, gum or glaze. This ensures it runs optimally at all times, delivering 24 cups of flour in under 6 minutes.
To accommodate this, the unit is equipped with a 24-cup capacity bin and this has a transparent wall that lets you monitor the flour as it fills up.
Other features include a cyclone cup to separate the flour from the air, 2 F-filters that prevent the flour from dusting your kitchen, 5 texture adjustment settings, an easy-access on/off switch, and a reset fuse. On the downside, the mill is very costly but it is worth the price.
2. Best Budget Grain Mill: Giraffe-X GorillaRock
- Type: Electric
- Grinding Plate: Stainless-Steel Blades
- Hopper Capacity: 0.7 cups
- Case Material: Stainless Steel
Giraffe-X’s GorillaRock is the ideal choice for those who are on a tight budget because it is very affordable. Despite this, it has a very solid stainless-steel construction. The smashing bin doubles up as the hopper and it is placed above an 850-watt motor base.
Blades inside the bin are spun at 28000 RPM, making the mill capable of smashing all kinds of dehydrated foods such as rice, soybean, corn, and even medicine.
Two snap switches hold the stainless-steel cover firmly on the bin to ensure the grains/flour doesn’t pour out.
More features include an overload protector that shuts off the motor in case it overheats, non-slip rubber feet, and a metal carrying handle on the cover.
On the downside, the bin’s capacity is very small (0.7 cups). Additionally, by having the hopper and bin as one, jamming is bound to occur.
3. Best Large-Capacity Grain Mill: NutriMill Plus
- Type: Electric
- Grinding Plate: Stainless-Steel Microburst Heads
- Hopper Capacity: 16 cups
- Case Material: Plastic
With a 16-cup hopper, NutriMill’s Plus allows you to pour in a large volume of grains then leave it to do its magic. The unit is also equipped with a large bowl that allows you to grind up to 24 cups of flour at a time.
The hopper is collapsible while the motor base fits in the bowl in a nesting design to form a compact package for easy storage.
When in use, the flour bowl sits side by side with the motor base and a flour bagger accessory is included to help you mill directly into the bowl or freezer-safe bags.
A 2-speed, 1200-watt motor runs the mill and this is mated to a stainless-steel microburst head, which is surgical enough to grind through any task.
You also get 3 texture control adjustment settings and a 4-stage filtration system that ensures the mill keeps your kitchen clean. The unit is also engineered to operate quietly, in which it is up to 15% quieter than its sibling, the NutriMill Classic.
The only problem is that the flour bowl is not transparent. This makes it impossible to monitor the flower as it fills up.
4. Best Heavy-Duty Grain Mill: Wondermill 2-0911
- Type: Electric
- Grinding Plate: Stainless-Steel Micronizing Chamber
- Case Material: Plastic
Wondermill’s 2-0911 is run by a heavy-duty 1250-watt LG motor that can grind 100 lbs. of flour in an hour and can blast through clogging to prevent overloading.
On top of this, it has a powerful micronizing milling chamber plus stainless steel fins that can work for up to 10 hours without overheating. This means you can produce up to 1000 lbs. of flour continuously while preserving all the healthy nutrients.
Milling can be done in either of the three texture adjustment settings, which are pastry for very fine flour, bread for medium-fine texture, and coarse. That said, the unit has very simple controls that include a dial for texture adjustment and an on/off switch.
Other features include a detachable flour container and a seal-tight lead to keep your kitchen clean. This also makes the container ideal for storage.
However, the product is quite expensive and the container is not transparent for easy monitoring of the milling process.
Best Manual Grain Mills
5. Best Manual Grain Mill: Roots & Branches VKP1024
- Type: Manual
- Grinding Plate: Stainless Steel Milling Cone
- Hopper Capacity: 4.5 cups
- Case Material: Aluminum, Plastic
If you’re looking for the best manual grain mill, we highly recommend Roots & Branches’ VKP1024 because it is motor-compatible. It has a removable crank handle that can be replaced by a motor for electric milling, which gives it a versatile hybrid design.
Other than that, the unit has a 4.5-cup hopper that is relatively large for the manual type. This hopper is made using clear plastic, which lets you see and monitor the grains feeding inside.
The mill also has a front-facing dial that makes it easy to adjust from coarse to fine-textured flour. This controls the positioning of a stainless-steel milling cone inside, which is durable and very effective.
You also get a stable mounting clamp that can be attached to 0.5-2-inch thick surfaces. On the downside, this product is not ideal for grinding beans and large grains. However, you can buy a milling cone for this to expand the unit’s grinding capabilities.
6. Durable Grain Mill: Chard GM-150
- Type: Manual
- Grinding Plate: Steel Burr
- Case Material: Tin-Coated Cast Iron
Chard’s GM-150 is characterized by durable tin-coated cast iron construction, which is both sturdy and rust-proof. As such, the mill is guaranteed to give you years of dependable service.
On top of this, the unit has a poly handle that won’t split or splinter, while a sturdy adjustable table clamp keeps it securely locked to a countertop that is up to 1.5 inches thick.
Other than that, the mill has a retaining frame for keeping the metal grinding plates close together and these can be adjusted using a tool-free nut to control the flour’s texture. All these parts are very easy to disassemble for cleaning and storage.
The only problem is that this piece cannot be hooked up to an electric motor for automated use.
7. Ergonomic Grain Mill: Weston 36-3601-W
- Type: Manual
- Grinding Plate: Steel Burr
- Case Material: Aluminum
Rounding up the list is Weston’s 36-3601-W and this is characterized by a user-friendly design, in which it has an ergonomic handle that turns effortlessly as you grind. This crank handle is S-shaped and it has a wooden holding-piece at the end that fits perfectly in your palm.
Aside from that, the unit has easily adjustable burs via a wing nut, and this makes it possible to customize the flour’s texture.
You also get a clamp that can be attached to any countertop that does not exceed 1.5 inches in thickness. Rubber pads are included to keep delicate countertops protected. All parts are easy to disassemble for compact storage and cleaning purposes.
On the downside, this mill cannot produce very fine flour. It is also not possible to hook it up to a motor for electric use.
Electric Grain Mill Vs. Manual/Hand Powered
1. Manual Grain Mills
These rely on manual hand cranking to rotate one grinding plate on the other. Of course, you cannot be as quick as a machine and therefore, the RPM is usually low. This means quiet operation and low-temperature grinding, which preserves all nutrients from the grains.
However, this manual cranking is also their biggest disadvantage. It is very slow and labor-intensive. As such, these models are not ideal for grinding large batches of grains.
The manual cranking also causes a lot of back-and-forth motion. To handle this, manual mills have clamps for mounting them to countertops. Other than that, their flour texture setting is limited and most cannot produce very fine flour.
On the bright side, they are very affordable. It is also worth noting that there are a few models that are compatible with electric motors, making them sort of hybrid. These are very handy if you live in an area with an erratic power supply.
2. Electric Grain Mills
Electric mills use motors to eliminate manual cranking. As such, they don’t cause operator fatigue and run much faster than the manual type. These models also have a wider flour texture range setting and can produce very fine flour.
Other than that, they usually have their own flour bins and are standalone units that don’t need to be mounted on any countertop.
However, by running that fast, these models are quite noisy and can heat the flour, which destroys some nutrients.
Buying Guide: Electric mills are superior to manual models and we recommend them. However, if you live in an area with no electricity, a manual type is more suitable.
How to Buy the Best Grain Mills
1. Grinding Plate
Grinding plates are at the heart of the grain mill. They are available in two types: burrs and impact grinders. Manual mills use a set of burrs, which consist of a bedstone that is fixed to the housing while the other is a runner. The runner is the one that spins as you turn the handle.
Grains are fed through these plates and are crushed before exiting through the sides. That said, old mills used stone burrs but modern manual units use metal burrs, which are adjustable to control the flour’s texture.
On the other hand, impact grinders are mostly found in electric grinders. They are also called micronizers, micronetic, or microburst heads and these consist of two teethed stainless-steel plates.
These are spun at a very high speed, impacting the grains midair, which cuts them into smaller and smaller pieces to produce very fine flour. They can also be adjusted to produce coarse-textured flour, and this gives you more control over the milling process.
2. Speed and Efficiency
When considering speed and efficiency, it is obvious that electric grain mills reign supreme. That said, these two are mostly determined by the motor’s power, which is rated in watts. The higher the watt rating, the more powerful the motor, and this translates to high speed plus efficiency.
That said, with its powerful 1560-watt commercial-grade motor, Blendtec’s 52-601-BHM has an edge over the rest when it comes to these two factors.
The material used to build the mill determines its durability. Metal-built mills are sturdier and more durable as compared to plastic built units, which means Giraffe-X’s GorillaRock is very durable. The only problem is that this makes the unit heavier.
Another thing to consider is the material used to build the hopper and the flour bin. Transparent plastic is better because it lets you monitor the milling process at a glance.
4. Noise Level
Because they operate at lower RPMs, manual grain mills run much quieter as compared to their electric counterparts. Therefore, if you are worried about noise, a manual unit is best.
That said, you can check out Roots & Branches’ VKP1024, which can be fitted with a motor just in case you want faster milling, or switch to manual mode to reduce noise.
As for the electric models, check the noise level rating given by the manufacturer. Measured in decibels, pick the one with the lowest rating.
Accessories are important because they make the product more convenient to use or add extra functionalities. In this case, you should look for things like a flour bagger accessory, freeze-safe bags, and the like.
These enable you to store the flour directly into the bags for long-lasting refrigerated storage, and they can be found in NutriMill’s Plus. The more the accessories, the better.
6. Ease of Assembly
Grain mills must be disassembled regularly for cleaning and storage purposes. Because of this, you should look for one that is easy to assemble/disassemble.
To conclude, if you are looking for the best electric grain mill, we recommend Blendtec’s 52-601-BHM. This is because it has a powerful 1560-watt motor, 5 texture settings, and a transparent bin that allows you to monitor the flour as it fills up.
However, if you want a manual mill, be sure to check out Roots & Branches’ VKP1024 because it has a hybrid motor-compatible design. If you are on a tight budget though, Giraffe-X’s GorillaRock is an affordable grain mill that you should consider.
- 7 Best Grain Mills – Review
- Best Electric Grain Mills
- Best Manual Grain Mills
- Electric Grain Mill Vs. Manual/Hand Powered
- How to Buy the Best Grain Mills